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overnight access 9 mth old

(15 Posts)
newmummy470 Fri 05-Dec-14 22:51:50

Me and my husband seperated when my dd was 3 mth old coz I found out for years he had been sleeping with any women that would have him!
He works shifts, 6 on 4 off. and sees our daughter on 2 of his rest days and one of his work days.
My ex has the worst attitude with me, he is threatening, aggressive, name calling and basically pretty horrible to me. I even threatened to conyacy the police recently to get an injunction against him for mental abuse. So things are strained.
But hes wanted overnight access for ages so I've finally agreed and he has her tomorrow night for the first time.
I just want to hear if anyone else has gone through similar and was the baby ok, did they grow up to be ok.
It feels so unnatural to pass my dd over to someone I hate so much, even though it is her dad. I know he won't tell me how she's been, I worry she won't settle. Will it effect our bond together. I'm so worried.
My dd is a happy baby, sociable but I'm her mum and I'm hate that i have to give this access. She's just so young.

Starlightbright1 Fri 05-Dec-14 22:54:50

My Ex never had overnight contact so can't comment in terms of experience but if she doesn't then She won't sleep all night long. I can guarantee it won't lastl ong unless he finds a way to settle her

Sunflowersmiling Fri 05-Dec-14 23:16:16

I hear that you are trying hard to do the right thing, and you are wanting whats best for your baby, so you could maybe see how things go on that overnight contact but keep a record - this is really important even though its hard - of how your baby was when you picked her up, was she unsettled, distressed etc, or was it really OK and your ex came through for her, your baby was absolutely fine.

Write it down, and if for any reason you fear for your child's safety, know that its OK to say no. You are not a bad person for loving and protecting your child. Its human nature.

There are other options too, have you considered him coming to yours to do bedtime routines, or early in the morning to do waking up/breakfast? Maybe as a precursor to an overnight? You could leave the house and let a trusted friend stay instead? I dont know whether that would work for you, its what I do at the moment.

I hope it goes well for her, and for you, whatever you decided. Lots of children do spend nights with their dads, who are fantastic and loving, however, just reading your concern in your message regarding emotional abuse, I have to say that if you are genuinely concerned for her wellbeing or safety, then dont be afraid to say no. Take some time to think things through, theres no rush. Its never to late to say no.

Sending a big hug x

newmummy470 Fri 05-Dec-14 23:37:46

Thankyou. It's so hard to know whats best. I don't think I'll ever be ready for this.
One half of me believes she will be ok and he will look after her properly, but then another half of me thinks she's still a young baby and routine is key. She should be at home with me. Even if it works ok, he'll only be having her once a month maximum, it's no way gonna be a regular weekly thing at this age. I just feel that the law and courts would make me without looking at the emotional attachment and mother and baby has. I know dads love their children, but mums are so different (ok there's always an exception to the rule). We never switch off, we are naturally tuned into our babies needs.
But all I read is a father has rights. And yes they do,, but under normal circumstances Iwouldn't pass my baby to someone who doesn't tell me how my child is, so why on earth is this any different.

Crushed2914 Sat 06-Dec-14 00:36:32

My solicitor told me overnights should be left until baby is toddling & not expecting to always see my face when she wakes, but my ex hasn't had dd at all yet, she's 3 months

HeadDoctor Sat 06-Dec-14 10:22:59

My son was a bit older when we did this, he was 15 months but we started a 50/50 split at that age too.
Best to keep yourself as distant from him as possible, keep communication to a minimum. It sounds like you trust him as a father.
My boy is a very happy and settled little lad. There was a period where he would sob at handovers when he was about 3 but that passed.
Hope it works out for you smile

Singleandproud Sat 06-Dec-14 10:39:27

We didn't start over nights till Dd was 3, she doesn't like sleeping over, and is always grumpy and tired the next day but otherwise is fine. You will have to be extra patient an understanding that her behaviour won't be the same as normal

Sunflowersmiling Sat 06-Dec-14 20:33:49

Hi, hope you are ok.

Yes dad has rights, but above his rights are the best interests of the child. The childs needs and safety is paramount.

Also in Law, context is everything.

What i mean is that even though a parent (mum or dad) may have parental responsibility, no judge would knowingly ever put a child in a situation where they could be at risk of harm.

I have the same fears as you, I went to mediation yesterday and refused overnight care again on the basis my ex has mental illness which results in unpredictable behaviour, usually showing itself through the night. Now he can say that he wants our son overnight because he has rights to access... and that's exactly what I will demonstrate he has - access.

But putting it in context, it has to be access that is safe and reliable for my son. So that means my ex comes to my flat and spends time with our son while I leave the premises, or they go to the park together. And the only way he can challenge this really is through the courts... at which point I would present the evidence of psychological abuse and risks from his behaviour.

Stay strong, and remember that whatever happens you are a great mum and clearly are doing everything you can to care for your daughter. Shes a lucky girl.


Solasum Sat 06-Dec-14 20:47:21

I asked about this a very long time ago now, and I think I was told that a Court will not force overnight contact before the age of 2.

BobbyBingoooo Sat 06-Dec-14 20:47:48

9 months old does seem on the young side. I'd personally go for 24 months to start overnights but every situation is different.

But trying to put a positive spin on it , if it all goes well it will result in a strong bond between father and daughter. I can't see how it'd damage your bond with your dd.

But also if dd is fine and well looked after I would expect he'll push for more overnights.

Notcontent Sun 07-Dec-14 22:09:40

I have quite strong views in this and it's backed up by many experts. A small baby should be with its mum. If it went to court no judge would force overnight contact at this stage.

HeadDoctor Mon 08-Dec-14 21:07:46

No judge at all ever, not content? And what experts?

HonestLie Tue 09-Dec-14 16:24:14

Sorry you are going through this OP, I don't have any experience of this as my ExH doesn't see our daughter at all.

However, those saying that overnight contact would not be ordered are incorrect. It could well be ordered at this age, providing a baby isn't BF overnight contact could be ordered at any point. If they are BF it tends to not get ordered (in the cases I've seen) until a minimum of around 18 months.

sanityseeker75 Thu 11-Dec-14 13:02:58

We started having my DSS when he was 9mnths old for overnight access (he is now 10).

He is a lovely well adapted sweetie. He didn't seem distressed at staying at ours he hadn't really met me more than about 3 times before overnights started and had only seen his dad for 2 hours a week. It was his moms choice to start overnights at that age despite the circumstances of him not really knowing us.

He adapted very quickly and has never been phased by it. He is so laid back so that helps but he has a brilliant close relationship with his mom and has brilliant close relationship with me and his dad.

I know it is different because it is what his mom wanted and not really what you want but if his dad steps up then it really won't change his bond with you just grow his bond with his dad

newmummy470 Thu 11-Dec-14 16:24:28

Thanks sanityseaker. That's very reassuring to hear. And I do hope our situation turns out like this. She has stayed overnight once now and although it was hard she seemed more than happy when I picked her up. He said she settled ok, I have to take his word for that.

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